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Harold W. Owens

May 1, 1918 February 27, 2011
Harold W. Owens
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Obituary for Harold W. Owens
HAROLD OWENS was born to Grace and Wilfred Owens at the Cumberland Hospital on May 1, 1918. He lived his life on the family farm at Indian Creek. As a young boy, he worked alongside his father on the farm training draft horses and milking cows. Harold attended the Roosevelt and Indian Creek Schools, and graduated from Frederic High School in 1937. He was a lifelong member of the Lorain Methodist Church.
Harold married Agnes Smith on October 30, 1941. They were married for nearly 64 years when Agnes died in 2005. Their family included nine children: Harlin (Elaine), Wealthy Marschall, Doris, Margaret McAbee, Wilfred (Linda), Marion (Bill) Barlass, Opal (Bill) Haase, Walter (Joyce), Roger (Kim), 26 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.
When his father died, Harold, a high school junior assumed responsibility for the largest farm in the area. It was 1936, a time of great depression and severe drought. Against the odds, the farm survived. Over the years, first with the help of hired men, then joined by Agnes, and later the kids the farm grew to the large herd of register Jerseys that it is today.
He was active with the Wisconsin, National and World Jersey Associations. He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the American Jersey Cattle Association in 1997. In addition to visiting all 50 states Harold and Agnes traveled to thirteen countries with World Jersey Tours.
Harold was very proud of his family - especially that six of his children and several grandchildren followed his footsteps into the dairy industry. Grandchildren and more recently the great grandchildren were the light of his life!
His retirement project was to build a new home in 1974 – starting out with cutting the trees from the farm. When the house was finished much wood remained so he set to work building tables, cabinets and other items that he loved to share with family and friends. The Owens home was always open for visitors, card parties, church services, and family and community gatherings. In addition to his passion for farming and family he enjoyed dancing, hunting, playing cards and picking berries.
Harold served many years for the Lorain Cemetery Association and several farm industry organizations. Harold and Agnes were leaders of the Indian Creek 4-H Club for over 20 years. Harold was the dairy project leader, softball coach and even a 4-H dance chaperone influencing many youth in the community. He was active in the community helping others in times of need. Harold and Agnes were honored as Frederic Citizens of the Year in 1998.
As Harold’s health declined he continued to be active with family and friends, always with an eye on the milk price, the farm crops and watching to see that the kids were “doing it right”. He participated in a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic for heart valve replacement hoping that doctors might learn new techniques for placement of aortic valves with a catheter. Selected for the control-group his aorta was “stretched” two times instead of receiving a new valve implanted with a stent. The study was successful and the new procedure has recently been approved. Harold’s life was extended due to his participation and others will have dramatic change with the new technique.
Harold is survived by, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brother-in-law Allen (Jan) Smith, sister-in-law LaVonne Smith, cousin Lloyd Owens, nieces, nephews and many friends. Harold was preceded in death by his wife Agnes, his sister Leila Ruhn, infant daughter Doris, grandchildren Katie Barlass and William McAbee, sons in law Bill McAbee and Ronald Marschall.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 11:00AM at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Frederic, WI with Pastor Freddie Kirk officiating.
Visitation will be held Thursday from 4 to 8PM at the Rowe Funeral Home in Frederic and again at the church on Friday beginning at 10AM.
Burial will take place at the Lorain Cemetery in Lorain Township.
Online condolences may be left at Please continue to check our websites for updated information or call Bruce Rowe at 715-327-4475.
Rowe Funeral Home of Frederic, Wisconsin has been entrusted with arrangements.
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